I’m not worried about my health and I know I have enough patience to wait 6 more days, but I’m not sure how many ill-informed articles about ebooks and the Kindle I can tolerate before I lose it.
On Sunday I posted a critique of a particularly vomitous article from the WSJ. That writer (I won’t call him a journalist) had decided to give up on ebooks because his Kindle ran out of power on a cross–country flight (never mind that he had a smartphone and tablet to read on).
Well today I found another article which might equal the WSJ article for idiocy. It’s titled 6 Features the Next Kindles Need to Succeed, and it was posted on the Wired website yesterday.
I’m frankly pissed about this article because Roberto Baldwin, the author, didn’t even bother to do basic research. He also neglected to perform basic fact fact-checking. And at least one of the features he demands (Epub support) has a stupid justification.
Robert wants Amazon to add a color screen to the next Kindle otherwise he says it will fail. In that case Amazon might as well junk the entire production run.
Amazon could introduce its own color e-ink system or license Qualcomm’s Mirasol color e-ink technology. No matter how the online retailer goes about getting the technology on its screens, it’s time a major player went color.
The 6″ color E-ink screen is not yet in production, a fact which Robert could have found out with a little time spent with this new thing called Google. So it cannot be added to the new Kindle. And as for the Mirasol demand, it boggles the mind that he doesn’t know that those screens are too expensive to produce. I’m pretty damn sure that everyone reported that detail when Qualcomm ended production in the changeover to licensing the screen tech. How do I know? Because I posted it first.
But that’s not the biggest goof. Robert also dredges up the old complaint about the Kindle not supporting Epub and insists that the new Kindle must. What’s more, Robert invents a particularly absurd justification for his demand:
The current Kindles do not support the free and open ePub format, which is mainly used for books that have entered the public domain and by authors who want to distribute their works for free. You can get ePub books on a Kindle, you just have to download a third-party conversion app to do it.
No, I’m pretty sure he was not dropped on his head as a child. But the fact he apparently doesn’t know that Apple, B&N, Sony, Pocketbook, for pet’s sake Google, and virtually everyone but Amazon sells Epub does make me wonder.
Seriously, he thinks Epub is “mainly used for books that have entered the public domain”? What rock has he been living under?
But for a moment let’s take his babbling as a legitimate statement so we can disprove it. Robert not only doesn’t know about the ebooks sold in Epub, he is also unaware of the fact that all the free ebooks in Epub are also available in Kindle format. Apparently Robert hasn’t connected the fact that there are millions of Kindles out there, a detail whcih gives authors and publishers plenty of incentive to release ebooks in Kindle format. The ones that are not are the rare exception, not the rule.